Have you ever gone out for a drink where you end up waiting inhumane hours just to put in and receive your order, only to discover that your seat has been taken while waiting in line? Well your prayers have been heard. Richard Liang is the CEO of Preo -- an app where you simply add your order on your smartphone, and it notifies you when your order is ready to pick up at the bar. This is allowing you to just sit down and relax with your friends, not having to spend any time waiting in line.
Startup #3: Preo
In just one sentence, what is your company offering/what do you do?
We help people take back their time when they’re out at hospitality venues.
What is the one thing you love the most about running a startup?
The thing I love the most is probably solving all the different types of problems that arise when starting your business. There are always different kinds of problems emerging when running a startup, which for me is super interesting. Working in a startup, I believe this is a good quality, considering there are always new problems arising.
Do you have a success story (big or small) you would like to share?
I think our biggest success is probably being the only one within the space to have identified how to solve the problem from the wait staff’s perspective. Many from my team, myself included, have experience from the hospitality ventures, and we’re the only company that has understood how the wait staff actually works. So instead of giving them a second screen, requiring them to change their current workflow, we allow staff to serve mobile orders without changing their existing behavior. This is something we have a patent pending on, and it’s something no one else in this space has identified a solution for, so it’s been very interesting for us. All of our competitors have gone in a different direction, and no one else has the expertise to do what we do, so we think that is really important for a startup, and really being able to identify that in the first round of raising capital.
How, if in any way, has Foundersuite helped your company?
I would say that as a startup, a major part of what we are doing is raising capital. Raising capital makes it possible to get to the next stage in evolving our business, and we therefore use the Investor CRM within Foundersuite. We always want to make sure that our investors receive the right information, and to always be able to keep in touch with people involved in our startup. Foundersuite has been very helpful in that area, and it has saved us a lot of time on the management level.
Finally, what is your best tip for running a startup?
Understanding the emotional rollercoaster that comes with running a startup is probably the most important thing for any founder, and also acknowledging that the people around you are there to help you. Most of the founders that I have talked to, have this need to show the best face of the company, and a need to ensure people that the startup is doing well.
But realistically, things go wrong all the time; there are good things happening, and there are bad things happening. So I believe that it is really important for a founder, to be open about what’s going on in the startup, and to allow others to help you identify the problems and the possible solutions. I was part of the Startup Leadership Program, where they used this situation as a metaphor for middle school; you want to be the cool, popular kid who is doing great in something. In the startup world, you don’t have to put up that front when starting a business. People want to see that you’re an actual person, and most of the time, people are very open to help you and your startup in any way possible. If you find yourself in a place where you aren’t receiving any help, it is simply because you didn’t ask for it.
A big thanks to Richard and Preo -- we are waiting for your expansion to San Francisco!